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Clue: Hungry Whale?
The arrow points at a mud circle, a muddy area on the water's surface left by a "snacking" whale. Gray whales feed by gulping mouthfuls of sand and sediment from the bottom and squirting it out through their baleen. Any food gets trapped and swallowed. The bottom sediment of the nursery lagoons has very little whale food but the water is rich in plankton and algae. One type of algae is like cotton in texture. Scientist Dr. Steven L. Swartz suggests this algae gets stuck on the whales' baleen, so the whales may take mouthfuls of sand and sediment to clean their baleen. One thing's for sure: Hungry whales are heading back to their arctic feeding grounds, eating what they can along the way. Food is on the menu for this week's report!

Image: Caroline ArmonMud circle by gray whale indicates feeding attempt.

 

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